that unpleasant Christian commodity, neighbours, Oh! they are all good Samaritans, and do so pour balms and nostrums upon one, if one has but the toothache, or a journey to take, that they break one's head. A journey to take— ay ! they talk over the miles to you, and tell you, you will be late in. My Lord Lovel says, John always goes two hours in the dark in the morning, to avoid being one hour in the dark in the evening. I was pressed to set out to-day before seven ; I did before nine ; and here am I arrived at a quarter past five, for the rest of the night.
I am more convinced every day, that there is not only no knowledge of the world out of a great city, but no decency, no practicable society—I had almost said, not a virtue. I will only instance in modesty, which all old Englishmen are persuaded cannot exist within the atmosphere of Middlesex. Lady Mary has a remarkable taste and knowledge of music, and can sing; I don't say, like your sister, but I am sure she would be ready to die if obliged to sing before three people, or before one with whom she is not intimate. The other day there came to see her a Norfolk heiress ; the young gentlewoman had not been three hours in the house, and that for the first time of her life, before she notified her talent for singing, and invited herself upstairs, to Lady Mary's harpsichord ; where, with a voice like thunder, and with as little harmony, she sang to nine or ten people for an hour. ' Was ever nymph like Rossymonde2 ?'—no, d'honneur. We told her she had a very strong voice. ' Lord, Sir! my master says it is nothing to what it was.' My dear child, she brags abominably ; if it had been a thousandth degree louder, you must have heard it to Florence.
1 did not write to you last post, being overwhelmed with this sort of people: I will be more punctual in London.
2 A song in. the opera of Rosamond, of which the libretto was by Addison, and the music by Arne,